Apparently Sprint didn't understand the meaning of the words "Do Not Call," and now it's got to pay the piper - and by that I mean the U.S. Treasury, in the amount of $7.5 million.
The FCC laid down a heavy fine on the wireless carrier after an investigation concluded Sprint violated consumers' privacy. The settlement is the largest Do-Not-Call payout ever, and goes hand-in-hand with several other stipulations to ensure that Sprint won't make the same mistake again. In addition to the fine, Sprint must:
- Develop and put into action a robust compliance plan designed, among other things, to help ensure future compliance with the FCC’s rules requiring companies to maintain internal Do-Not-Call lists and honor consumers’ requests;
- Develop operating procedures and policies specifically designed to ensure that Sprint’s operations comply with all company-specific Do-Not-Call rules;
- Designate a senior corporate manager as a Compliance Officer to ensure that Sprint complies with the terms and conditions of the compliance plan and the consent decree;
- Implement a training program to ensure that Sprint employees and contractors are properly trained how to record consumers’ Do-Not-Call requests so that the company removes their names and numbers from marketing lists;
- Report to the FCC any noncompliance with respect to consumers’ Do-Not-Call requests; and File with the FCC an initial compliance report within 90 days and annual reports for two years.
This isn't the first time Sprint has been on the wrong end of a Do-Not-Call settlement. In 2011, Sprint paid out $400,000 to the Treasury after telemarketing to consumers on its internal Do-Not-Call registry.
How can you get on the Do-Not-Call registry? What kinds of calls does it cover? Are cellphones included? Click here to find out the three things you need to know about avoiding telemarketers.